Sponsorship is a super critical part of any sports club’s financial make up.

From the professional leagues, through to local, grassroots sport, sponsorship is often the difference between the financial stability of a club and long-term success right and financial demise.

Sports clubs work incredibly hard to sign up and retain sponsors and this blog aims to help sports clubs or volunteers working with sports clubs better understand the importance of sponsorship, where to find it and what you need to do get in front of and convert more sponsors.

What does it mean to gain a sponsor for your sports team?

Sponsoring a sporting team has become one of the most popular methods of raising public awareness of a brand, whether it is a fast-food chain, clothing store or real estate branch, most businesses see the benefits of advertising through a sports team.

Are you a business owner looking to understand some of the benefits that can come from sponsoring a sporting club or how to get more benefits out of your existing sponsorships? Read more HERE.

By placing their brand logo on a local, real-life group of people such as a sporting team, a brand’s optics change so that they appear to be something that’s a part of “real life” and not just the world of screen and print media.

An athletic club or team may earn sponsorship arrangements in a variety of ways. Once they’ve done so, they will not only enjoy further support from the business that they advertise, they will also acquire more resources to grow their club. This can mean access to equipment that couldn’t previously be afforded. Are you scratching your head, trying to come up with some incentives to entice sponsors to support your team?

Who should you offer a sponsorship deal to?

Begin with your immediate family, friends, and relatives. People are more inclined to support your club if they are already somewhat involved with it.

Someone in the club may own a small business and be willing to fund the event in return for gaining exposure in their neighbourhood.

There are also some great platforms available to sports clubs that can allow individuals to make contributions to sports clubs for various fundraising efforts that can then be claimed as tax deductions.

Looking beyond this, you should open the door to local businesses you have not yet introduced yourself to. Everyone appreciates the feeling of being a tight-knit community, which provides relief to the competitiveness of the online marketing world.

Local businesses that may be inclined to do business include restaurants, wholesalers, tradesmen, and retailers.

If a local business can supply something at your sporting events, such as food or entertainment, it will improve the quality of your events and also gives your sponsor the opportunity to “give samples” – a win, win!

When scouting for potential sponsors, it is recommended that you look at the history of sponsorships that a business has done previously.

Larger organisations may have greater resources, but they may lack the enthusiasm or dedication in your club that is required of a good sponsor. It may be more difficult to approach them unless you have a pre-existing relationship, as large businesses are frequently overwhelmed with requests for sponsorship.

However, the sweet spot between small and large businesses may be found in local branches of larger organisations, such as a real estate company’s office that is based in your local area.

How should you prepare to make a sponsorship proposal?

Once you have found a good candidate for sponsorship, be prepared to answer all of the questions they might ask you.

A sponsorship proposal is a business proposition. It is critical that the proposal is well-presented and succinct, with enough information for the business to know exactly what is being proposed. It may be worthwhile to invest in a professional writer who can write you a phone-pitch or proposal document.

When drafting your proposal, appeal to the needs of the firm you’re approaching as specifically as possible. Don’t write a “one copy fits all” proposal.

Writing a tailored proposal may be challenging, you may have to make estimations about what the business’ needs are and this is why it’s good to brainstorm approaches amongst your team, or better yet, with a marketer. Learn everything you can about the company you’re contacting, such as its intended image, its services, its corporate goals and its current challenges.

What should you include in your proposal?

The following are some examples of common sponsorship proposal material.

  • A letter of introduction
  • An overview of your sporting club. What does your club do and where does your club operate? What are some general facts about your club which give someone an accurate picture of your club’s success, number of players and audience members?
  • Specific objectives (with a complimenting timeline) that the partnership will achieve, such as increased sales for the business that sponsors your team
  • A budget and a financial commitment – outline the flow of money that will occur. What price will you offer your potential sponsor? How long will the dealt last? What will be the terms and conditions?
  • A list of what, exactly, you offer the business. What can the sponsor expect to gain from your club if they take you up on your offer? What kinds of advertisements will be available? What naming rights will be offered? Does the sponsor gain any extra perks?
  • Media exposure plans. Media exposure is a key element of sponsorship for a lot of sponsors, particular bigger-budget sponsor. Describe how you plan to acquire radio, TV, internet and newspaper coverage for your team, which in turn will give the client’s brand logos on in your team’s events more exposure. Think about the coverage your sports team receives? Will players wearing branded apparel appear on a news website? Are their local community radio programs you can be featured on? Do you stream your games?
  • Details of the target audience. Provide a profile or a description of the people who are exposed to your sport club, events and facilities. Study the people who make contact with your club – what do they have in common? What genders and age groups do they fall into? Determine where your club’s audience matches the sponsor’s target market.
  • Exclusivity assurance. Assure your sponsor that it will not be placed in direct competition with a market rival during their partnership with you. You will not, for instance, make deals with their competitors.
  • Point of contact rules. Establish who the potential sponsor will contact in regards to the agreement.
  • Evaluation structure. Outline how you will assess the agreement’s success (having specific, tangible goals in mind from the beginning is key).

In conclusion, attaining a sponsor for your sports team is an amazing way to boost your team’s opportunities, resources, and community outreach. It does the same for your sponsor. It is a true win-win which puts power in the hands of people, opposing the digital-only landscape of web 2.0 marketing.

For more information or for assistance preparing your club’s sponsorship proposal, get in touch with Content Hype today.